Brazil's ANP: small operational questions remain to Chevron restart

2/19/2013

Brazil's ANP: small operational questions remain to Chevron restart

BY JEFF FICK

RIO DE JANEIRO -- U.S. oil major Chevron needs to resolve only some "small operational questions" before Brazil's National Petroleum Agency, or ANP, will give the company clearance to restart production at the site of a November 2011 oil spill.

"The ball is in Chevron's court," ANP Director Magda Chambriard said Tuesday. There are no major regulatory hurdles Chevron needs to overcome, although Ms. Chambriard declined to give a timeline for when crude oil output at the Frade field could be restarted.

Chevron has said it is working with regulators to restart output at Frade.

Chevron halted production at Frade in March 2012, after a second series of oil seepages were discovered on the seabed near the field. The shutdown followed a November 2011 drilling accident, which caused an estimated 3,700 bbls to seep from cracks in the sea floor.

The ANP fined Chevron for infractions related to the spill, but the company has denied any wrongdoing. Rig operator Transocean was absolved by the ANP.

Both companies, however, face criminal and civil lawsuits in Brazil related to the spill.

Dow Jones Newswires

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